Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Anambra State Govt. Moves to Retrench Principals, Teachers who fail to Acquire Computer Knowledge Before 2016


 Anambra State Government has vowed to retrench its teachers who might fail to acquire basic computer knowledge by January 2016, even as Principals have been given till November 2015 to become computer literate.

Speaking to newsmen in Awka, the State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha further announced that computer literacy is a major pre-requisite to teaching in all schools in Anambra State.

Omenugha, while reacting to the much heated controversy generated by her move to implement a voluntary laptop acquisition scheme for primary school teachers in the state, recalled that Governor Willie Obiano’s administration had shown enough willpower to galvanize education as he recently trained 23 teachers from the state at Singapore., recalled that an online media had alleged that the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, through the State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha “imposed” ownership of computer sets on all teachers in the state at cost of 90,000 withdrawable from their salaries at 20,000 per month.

But Prof. Omenugha described the policy as a revolutionary initiative of the National Council on Education (NCE) hatched in 2012, as a voluntary policy not mandatory on the teachers to subscribe to, yet its adherence will afford primary school teachers a better chance to acquire first class rate laptops with a synchronized tutorial package for the betterment of the pupils and societies at large.

Her words: “This is policy thrust of the NCE which is in tandem with governor Obiano’s Blueprint for Education prescribe a laptop for every teacher by 2015 and a palmtop for every student by 2016. The 9-year Basic Education Curriculum Structure of the National Council on Education advocates that Primary 1 – 3 pupils are to be taught Basic Technology and Information Technology.

“It becomes therefore, very necessary that every teacher must be computer
literate. We have promised our children to have a globally competitive
education. What we promise Anambra children is education that is globally competitive and one of the ways you can be globally competitive is through a good knowledge of ICT”.

She recalled that the NCE had at its 58th meeting in Abuja in 2012 decided among many other things that all state ministries of education should comply with the instruction to “supply adequate number of computer laptops on soft loan basis to all teachers and also organise training workshops and seminars for teachers on effective use of computer”, adding that her Ministry, however chose to carve out a better path for the future of Anambra children by embracing the policy to ensure that teachers have enough computer literacy to impart the same knowledge on the children.

The Nigeria’s Second female Professor of Mass Communication, further stressed that the inevitability of computer knowledge to modern education was reason the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and National Examination Council (NECO) took to a computer based test, envisaging that “From 2016, every exam that is ‘Objective’ would be computer based. So, how would you produce children who can compete nationally and internationally with teachers who are still analogue? Off course you know that no single teacher could inculcate into her pupil what she does not have.

“That is why we thought it wise to produce a scheme that will enable teachers to key in voluntarily by getting a laptop. The scheme is not mandatory on any teacher. That is why teachers were given a Consent Form to sign; thereby giving them option to either accept or refuse to buy the laptops. I know that making changes always comes with a lot of challenges and a lot of resistance. But it is important to note that everything we are doing is to drive a policy that is already in existence at the Federal level”, Omenugha concluded.

Meanwhile, Prof. Omenugha has lamented that the Microsoft Academy Vouchers procured by the past administration at the cost of USD 1 million were abandoned
for years and were almost about to expire until she discovered them and
reached out to Microsoft to get an extension of the expiration period.



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